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ind unfriendliness disappear, and the Catholicism rather than religion," he said; Young Bohemian of the second or third and I added, “A Catholicism in Austria, generation is as frank and open as his with its back toward the throne and its jeighbor with his Anglo-Saxon heritage. face toward the Austrian eagle;' to which : rather pride myself upon my power to he replied, “ You have hit the nail on the letect racial and national marks of even head.” :losely related peoples, but in Chicago I In reality, this hatred extends unreasonvas severely tested and failed. In Beth- ably to all religion, and among the less ehem Church I addressed a Bohemian educated it amounts to a fanaticism which Tudience to which I could pay this com- does not stop short of persecution and perpliment, that it looked and listened like sonal abuse. Blasphemous expressions and Americans ; but what thousands of years old musty arguments against the Bible are lave plowed into a people cannot be alto- the common topics of conversation among rether eradicated, and the Bohemian, with many Bohemian workingmen who hate the ill of us, carries his burden of good and sight of a priest, never enter a church, and vil buried in his bones. Among all our are thoroughly eaten through by infidelity. oreign population he is the most irrelig. They read infidel books about which ous, more than two-thirds of the 100,000 they argue during the working hour, and n Chicago having forsaken the Roman the influence of Robert Ingersoll is noCatholic Church and drifted into the old where more felt than among them. His ashioned infidelity of Thomas Paine' and “ Mistakes of Moses ” has taken the place Robert Ingersoll. Nowhere else have I of the usual newspaper story, and the jeard their doctrines so boldly preached editorials are charged by hatred toward or seen their conclusions so readily the Church and toward Christianity as a Accepted, and I have it on the authority whole. The unusual number of suicides of Mr. Geringer, the editor of the “ Svor- among the Bohemians is said to be due to jost," that there are in Chicago alone the fact that their secret societies encourhree hundred Bohemian societies which age suicide. The books published in Chieach infidelity, which carry on active cago are of a rather low type, and among propaganda for their unbelief, and also them are many whose sole purpose it is naintain Sunday-schools in which the to vilify the Church. This I felt to be ittendance ranges from thirty to three true, that an unusually coarse materialism housand. One of the inost painful and pervades Chicago's Bohemian colony; and pathetic sights is this attempt to crush Professor Massarik, of the University of jod out of the child nature by means of Prague, who lectured this summer at the in infidel catechism, the nature of whose University of Chicago, makes this the eaching is shown by one of the first ques chief note of his complaint against them. ions: “What duty do we owe to God?” They have singing and Turner societies The answer is, “ Inasmuch as there is no after the manner of the Germans, but the jod, we owe him no duty.”
ideals they foster are really the causes of Mr. Geringer is one of the leaders in their materialism and infidelity. The his movement, and his paper, in common Roman Catholic Church is fighting that vith two others, p'ırsues this same course spirit by maintaining strong parochial und daily preaches its destructive creed. schools, encouraging the organization of Calling at the office of the “ Svornost," I lodges under its protection, and it now ound Mr. Geringer, a Bohemian of the publishes a daily paper, the success of econd generation, frank and open in which I could not judge, although the icknowledging his leadership and the reports I have from various sources are endency of his paper, although he was less not flattering. The Protestants cannot Extreme than the statements about him by boast of more than one per cent. of mempriests and preachers had led me to sup bers among them, and the three small nese. He certainly was much more will- churches in Chicago are but vaguely felt ng to talk about his people than were the and are practically no factors in the life priests upon whom I had called, and I of this large population. “We don't Cound that his views have not been with know that they are here,” said one of the out change in the fifteen years since I infidel leaders, and the Catholics take no ast read his paper. “We are fighting notice of them at all. A little paper, “Pravda," published by Dr. George T. of the Austrian priest at home. “ You Adams, the pastor of one of these churches, know in Austria the State pays us, and we had to be given up on account of lack of don't need to come in close touch with means.
the people, but here it is different ; here Chicago is as much a Bohemian center the people pay, and that alone brings us for America as is Prague for the old in closer touch." Bohemia, and the type of thought found My impression of New Prague is that there is duplicated in all the Bohemian it is neither “ tough" nor infidel; it is centers that I visited; everywhere there true that it has saloons and too many of is a battle between free thought and them, that the Continental Sabbath is the Catholicism, and many a household is type of its rest-day, but in outward decency divided between the “ Svornost ” and the and in the degree of intelligence among " Catholic," yet I have good reason to its professional and business men it rivals believe that this infidelity is only a desire any other town of its size with which I am for a more liberal type of religion, only a acquainted. It is surrounded by Irish strong reaction and not a permanent and American settlements, the first of thing, and I found signs of weakening at which it surpasses in order and decency, every point. The little village of New and is not far from the other in enterprise Prague in southwestern Minnesota is a and an unexpressed desire to bring the good example. It is the center of a large kingdom of God upon the earth. Bohemian agricultural community, and has Among these people who offer such a the reputation of being a “tough” town promising field the efforts of Protestants and quite a nest of infidelity. I found it have been successful, though they are en a clean and prosperous place of 1,500 tirely inadequate when one considers that inhabitants, outwardly neater and better fully seventy-five per cent, are alienated cared for than the ordinary Western vil. from the Mother Church, are in a condition lage. It has a clean and wholesome-look- of semi-infidelity, and are in reality waiting ing hotel, a little Protestant and a big for a faith more in keeping with their Catholic church, and the usual variety of ideas of religion. The most successful stores. I was surprised to find the hotel work among them is that carried on by without the customary bar, and to my the Congregational Home Missionary question about it the hotel-keeper replied, Society, under the supervision of the Rev. “I have no use for bars; I ain't no drink H. A. Schauffler, who was a foreign mising man and I don't want nobody else to sionary in Bohemia, and who brought with drink.”
him to this country a thorough knowledge The editor of the New Prague “ Times” of their language and an insight into their had been pointed out to me as the chief character which have been of great help infidel, yet I found him an interested to him. Oberlin Theological Seminary reader of The Outlook, and a rather fine maintains a Slavic Department in which type of the liberal Christian. While, of men are trained for this work. In the course, the Chicago “ Svornost” and its same atmosphere of this community. in kind find a great many readers, the infi- close touch with the best that college life dels are all those who have refused to go affords, they are trained for Christian to confession and who wanted a public leadership, and they bring with them an school, and who are now erecting a fine intellectual hunger which is almost unap structure. From the banker, the physi- peasable, and they draw in the new life cian, the druggist, and the photographer, through every fiber of their beings. Most I received additional proof that my con- of them must first learn to speak their jecture was correct, and the only one who own language correctly; then they bare had little to say in praise of these people to wrestle with English, and finally they and much to blame was the village priest, must struggle through rudimentary suba true type of the Austrian Catholic who jects to theology. Professor Miskowszky, would rule with an iron hand if he could, the Dean of this department, and a gradand who misses the strong support of uate of Columbia University, has the government. Typical of him was the difficult task of preparing these men for answer to my question as to his touch their life-work, and one who has seen with the people in comparison with that them together in the class-room realizes what a difficult task it is for both teacher than the German, and I have found chilind students, and wonders at the marvel- dren of the third generation who spoke sus results.
English like foreigners. An appeal to his In Cleveland a Bible Readers' School history, to the achievements of his people, prepares young women for the difficult awakens in him a great deal of pride, ask of visiting the homes and teaching which he easily implants into the hearts ind exemplifying the Gospel. This work of his children. This does not make him as its stories of marvelous conversions a worse American, and in the Bohemian mong men and women of mature years, heart George Washington soon has his ind my acquaintance of over thirteen years place by the side of John Huss, and ere long vith its preachers and leaders, as well as is “first in the hearts of his countrymen.” ny visits among its churches and mission The Bohemian is intelligent enough to itations, leads me to believe that its work know what he escaped in Austria, and s genuine and destined to be a great factor values his opportunities in America, aln the evangelization of these Slavic people. though too often he confuses liberty with One of its little churches at Silver Lake, license; in this, however, he is not a Minn., leads the churches of the State in its sinner above others. His greatest sin is gifts to benevolent objects, and the whole his materialism, and he stunts every part own is a model of intelligence, sobriety, of his finer nature to own a house and ind true piety; but in the cities its work to have a bank account. Children are s too circumscribed, and to be felt at all robbed of their youth and of the opportut must at least tenfold its activities. nity to obtain a higher education by this
The saloon holds an abnormally large parental hunger after money, and parental place in the social life of the Bohemians, authority among the Bohemians has all ind beer works its havoc among them the rigor of the Austrian absolutism which ocially and politically. The lodges, of they have transplanted, but which they which there are legion, are above or cannot maintain very long, for young peneath saloons, and all societies down to Bohemia is quickly infected by young he building and loan associations are America, and a small-sized revolution is n close touch with them. It is the pride soon started in every household ; it is of Bohemian Chicago that two of its then that the first generation thinks its Kreatest breweries are in the hands of its bitterest thonghts about this country and Countrymen, and brewers and saloon- its baleful influence upon the young. In keepers control much of the Bohemian fact, the second generation is rather proflirote. I asked one of the politicians gate in “ sowing its wild oats," which are vhether that element was active in poli- reaped in the police courts in the shape of ics, and he replied, “Oh, yes; we have fines for drunkenness, disorderly conduct, ive aldermen and the city clerk.” The and assault and battery. act is that they have given Chicago a poor T he Bohemian is among the best of :lass of officials and have placed their our immigrants, and yet may easily be the vorst infidels in the City Council and on worst, for when I have watched him in he School Board. There is not a little political riots in Prague and Pilsen or Ivowed Anarchy among them, and a great during strikes in our own country I have leal more of Marxian Socialism, one of found him easily inflamed, bitter and rehe daily papers advocating the latter lentless in his hate, and destructive in his political faith. Just as there is much dan- wild passion. He has lacked sane leadgerous half-knowledge of religious sub- ers in his own country, as he lacks wellects, so there is much of it about politics, balanced leaders in this. The settlement ind the worst and yet the most eloquent and missionary workers in Chicago find irguments on Socialism I have heard from him rather poor material to work with, for hese agitators, of whom there are many. he is unapproachable, not easily handled,
Though the Bohemian is very pugna- and repels them by his suspicious nature ious, he is easily led, or rather easily and outward unloveliness, although he is nfluenced, and in times of political excite- better than he seems and not quite so nent I should say that he would need a good as he thinks himself to be, for great deal of watching. He is much more humility is not one of his virtues. He enacious of his language and customs develops best where he has the best example, and upon the farms of Minne- hand was a flag, the Stars and Stripes. sota and Nebraska he is second only to while to greet him came Bohemia, with the German, whose close neighbor he is Bohemia's colors waving in her hands: and with whom he lives in peace, strange and these two received the greatest apas it may seem. The Bohemian is here plause of that memorable evening. These to stay, and scarcely any of those who two are in the heart of this stranger; he come will ever stand again upon St. is faithful to the old, and will ever be Charles bridge and watch their native loyal to the new. How to be loyal to this Moldava as it winds itself along the ancient flag in times of peace, at the ballot-box, battlements of “ Golden Prague," as they on the streets of Cleveland during a strike, love to call their capital. America is as a citizen and alderman in Chicago, is their home, “ for better or for worse;" the great lesson which he needs to learn, they love it passionately; and yet one who and we need to learn it with him. He knows their history, every page of it will remain a Bohemian longest in the aflame from war, need not wonder that agricultural districts of Minnesota and they turn often to their past and dwell on Nebraska, where he holds tenaciously to it, lingering there with fond regret. the speech of his forefathers; but, in spite
Last year, while I was in Prague, Anto- of that, I consider him a better American nin Dvořák, the composer, celebrated than his brother in the city. He needs his sixtieth birthday, and the National to find here a Christianity which wil Opera House was the scene of a gala satisfy his spiritual nature and which will performance and a great demonstration become the law of his life, a religion in his honor. They gave his National which binds him and yet will make him Dances in the form of a grand ballet, and truly free; and that we all need to find. to the notes of those wild and melancholy Above all, he has to resist the temptation strains of the Mazurka, the Kolo, and the to make bread out of stone, to use all his Krakoviak, came all the Slavic tribes in powers to make a living and none of them their picturesque garb, and all were greeted to make a life; and that is a temptation by thunderous applause as they planted which we must all learn to resist, for their national banners ; at last came a neither men nor nations can “ live by stranger from across the sea, and in his bread alone.”
Some Modern Interpretations of Christianity'
THAT is Christianity? The cen- toward an adequate answer, and it shows
turies have been seeking an a wide knowledge of the field, a clear,
answer to this question; not discriminating mind, and an experienced because Christianity is indefinite, but be hand in the art of writing. It is an cause it is larger than the mind of man attempt to trace, as he says, “the rise has been able fully to grasp. Dr. Brown's and progress of the effort to conceive book is an attempt to trace the movement Christianity scientifically.” In the first
chapter, which is admirable for its terse, The Essence of Christianity: A Study in Defini- clear, easy style, he states the problem. tion. By William Adams Brown, Ph.D., D.D. Charles Sonbner's Sons, New York.
This he shows to be ultimately dependent An Introduction to Protestant Dogmatics. By Dr. P. I obstein, Professor of Theology in the University of upon the conception of the Absolute. Strassburg. Authorized Translation from the Original When the Absolute is conceived of as that French Edition by Arthur Maxson Smith, Ph.D. Pub lished by the Translator. Printed at the University of which is in contrast with the finite, thes Chicago Press, Thaler mid the Social Consciousness: A Study of arises a theoTOS), Dell that olue atica
arises a theology, be it that of the Vatican the Aslations of Social Consciousness to Theology. By or that of dogmatic Protestantism, which Henry Churchill King. The Macmillan Company, New York.
makes the essence of Christianity consist Reason and Revelation: An Essay in Christian
Avdyr. Bj. R Wingworth, D.D. The Macmillan in what is extraordinary and miraculous. Company, New York.
When the Absolute is conceived of 15 7. SAirtual Outlard: A Surte of the Religious Lite in Our Time as Rciated to progress. By Willard that which is beyond the boundary of Chamberlain Selleck. Little. Brown & Co., Boston, Jerusi Ily: Appreciat?" of the Teaching in
knowledge, then arises a philosophy, :: thi Sinopse Gereeds. By William De Witt Hyde cannot be called a theology, which denië President of Bowdoin College. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston,
the possibility of an absolute religion or
that there is anything essential and there- survey of the great historical currents of fore permanent in Christianity. When the philosophy of Christianity and the the Absolute is conceived of as that which present trend of theological thought will is the ultimate reality of all life—neither find it in this volume. contrasted with the finite nor separated One cause of the slow progress of the from it—then arises a theology which finds world, which sometimes seems slowest God in his world and makes the essence of all in the Church, is the tendency of of Christianity-so far as it is an absolute men, even of the more thoughtful charreligion-to consist in its meeting the acter, to read mainly books which conuniversal religious needs, because it is firm their previous impressions. Com“ valid for man as man.” While contrast- paratively few men are open-minded ing these three conceptions, Dr. Brown enough to read, with appreciation and takes occasion to point out the fact that assimilation, books which present a point the first, which makes faith dependent of view to which they are unaccustomed ; upon some external sanction, be it church, or, if they do not absolutely taboo such creed, or book, is, in spite of common books as dangerous, they read them only opinion to the contrary, vague and ambig- to criticise or condemn. uous. It is the last of these conceptions We wish that Dr. Lobstein's book the one which he terms the psychological, might be read by two classes of thinkers of which he accepts as prerequisite to any our time, both of whom might, by perusing reasonable attempt to discover the ele- it, be enabled better to comprehend the ments of absoluteness in Christianity. theological transition through which some
To the question, What is Christianity ? certainly are passing. These two classes, Dr. Brown finds in the very beginnings the egoistical rationalist and the traditional of the Church two contradictory answers. dogmatist, confirm each the other by rea. One, in part given by Paul, in part by son of the polemical temper, which always the Epistle to the Hebrews, is that Chris- assumes — generally erroneously — that tianity consists in a new principle, partly whatever is the opposite of an error is the in contrast to Judaism, partly in develop- truth. The egoistical rationalist will not ment out of it. The other answer, given look for sources of religious truth beyond by the Epistle of Barnabas, is that Chris- his own ideas and ideals, and so measures tianity is primarily Jaw-precisely the all affirmations by the way they strike his same law as that revealed in the Old reason or perhaps his fancy. Of this type Testament, but disobeyed, and therefore James Martineau is probably the most misunderstood, by the Jews. It is this notable and noble illustration among second answer which is found to be English writers. The traditional dogmaoverwhelmingly prevalent throughout the tician, beginning with the assumption that ancient and mediæval Church, and but the Bible is the only infallible rule of little modified in the leaders of the Refor- faith and practice, and going on to affirm mation. It is not until the philosophy of that the creeds are the only authoritative Kant and the rise of the historical spirit interpreters of the Bible, should—though began to upset the complacent certainties he does not always or even generally-go of Catholic and Protestant theologians on still further, into the Church of Rome ; alike, that the way was opened for Schlei- for an infallible book, if it is to be an infalermacher, Hegel, and Ritschl to develop lible guide, requires an infallible church the answer first given by Paul and the to be its infallible interpreter. Professor Epistle to the Hebrews. In a final Lobstein accepts neither the postulate of chapter, “ Retrospect and Prospect,” Dr. the egoist nor of the traditionalist. He Brown reaches his definition of Chris- insists that dogma is necessary. We tianity, which centers about Jesus Christ, must think out our faith in rational forins as one who not only reveals truth but for our own sake, else it remains a mere imparts life.
vague and formless sentiment. We must With all its compactness and its schol- think it out for the sake of others, else in arship, this book has a distinct literary communicating it we communicate simply quality. It not only gives valuable infur- an evanescent imagination or a still more mation, but it also stimulates thought. evanescent emotion. But the material Those who wish to have at hand a wide for a scientific statement of religious truth